Microsoft SharePoint boasts millions of users across the globe. But given that SharePoint Online is now bundled with Office 365, how many people are actually using it and getting value from it?
Indeed, a quick online search tells you that many are looking for SharePoint alternatives in a bid to move away from the platform. Here are a few reasons why:
- SharePoint isn’t user-centric: As digital transformation consultant Laurence Hart put it: “SharePoint was built by IT for IT.” In other words, the platform wasn’t developed in line with business requirements, nor with team members in mind. This is evident when reading reviews online from frustrated users, who claim the software is confusing, difficult to implement, and clunky.
- It requires a large budget: The cost of SharePoint intranet is high. For SharePoint Online, subscriptions range from £3.80/$5.26 to £17.60/$24.38 per user/month, with only the most expensive package providing the intranet essentials you’d expect as standard (such as social features). Organisations also need to hire SharePoint Consultants and Developers to get the team site setup. Businesses who want to purchase SharePoint Server – Microsoft’s on-premise solution – will need to pay for each virtual server and user license (these costs are mysteriously absent from Microsoft’s website).
- It requires a huge time investment: Getting staff trained to use SharePoint is no quick task. Online estimates range between six months to two years for training teams up to a confident level. In comparison, Claromentis customers can expect to be up and running in as little as six weeks.
Is SharePoint Going Away?
So is SharePoint Online going away any time soon? The business software market is evolving all the time, so it’s difficult to predict. However, we can look at the dramatic evolution of technology in recent years, and the shift in people’s expectations surrounding business applications, to get a good idea of the answer.
Another consideration is whether Microsoft Teams is replacing SharePoint, and what happens when older versions of SharePoint – such as SharePoint 2013 – stop receiving active support.
Let’s start with the latter point first:
Is SharePoint Online still supported?
Microsoft Sharepoint discontinued support for old iterations of their on-premise solution, SharePoint Server. Here’s a breakdown of when support ended:
- SharePoint Server 2007: Ended in October 2017
- SharePoint Server 2010: Ended in April 2021
- SharePoint Server 2013: Will end in April 2023
- SharePoint Server 2016: Will end in July 2026
When support ends, this means that customers will no longer receive bug fixes, technical support, or new features.
Is Microsoft SharePoint being replaced by Teams?
In short, no. However, the two platforms share a lot of similarities. Both SharePoint and Teams are described as collaboration platforms, and each system can be used to store and share files – so it’s not surprising that some people are confused about what to use and when in their day-to-day job.
The differences appear in their core focus areas. Whilst SharePoint leans closer towards secure document management, information sharing, and content management to build team sites, Microsoft Teams is more focussed on chat and video calling.
Now that we know a little more about SharePoint vs Teams, and which versions of SharePoint are discontinued, let’s return to our original question: is Sharepoint old technology and becoming obsolete?
Here are 3 reasons why we think it is:
Why SharePoint is an old technology
1. The UI is old-fashioned and static
Remember what Laurence Hart said about SharePoint being built for IT? This also means it was never designed to be customised by the end-user. So whilst the user interface (UI) is practical, it’s not modern or tailored to business needs.
Businesses who want to create a visually appealing site need to hire specialist SharePoint Designers, who command an average salary of £57,500/$80,000. Modern intranets like Claromentis, on the other hand, include next-gen intranet design tools as standard, making it easy for teams to create dynamic document management and collaboration areas with little effort.
(Page created using Claromentis intranet design tools)
2. SharePoint is lacking in essential features
Another reason why SharePoint is starting to show signs of aging is that it doesn’t provide all the essential intranet features you’d expect, unless you choose to pay for the most expensive package. For example, social tools and advanced search are only available for enterprise users, despite these features being a staple of intranet software. No business wants to be paying for add-ons or extras that should be included as standard.
Similarly, business intelligence features such as automations and workflows are restricted to the highest-paying customers only. In comparison, Claromentis provides software that empowers teams to effectively manage their business processes at every pricing point.
3. Personalisation features are missing
Any good intranet should include personalisation features, such as the ability to target specific information to different teams. Claromentis, for example, uses content targeting technology that pushes company news, announcements, and department-specific data to the relevant staff. This ensures that users aren’t bombarded with information that’s not related to their role or needs. You wouldn’t, for instance, want staff based in your UK office to get an update that’s meant for your US team.
Despite their importance, SharePoint lacks these essential personalisation features. Without them, the system is at risk of becoming cluttered and full of irrelevant information, which will put off staff from coming back. Simply put, if the intranet doesn’t meet your teams’ needs, they won’t return.
The inability to target content also increases the risk of accidentally sharing confidential information to the wrong team, leading to a critical information security breach. This could have serious consequences, especially if you’re handling sensitive employee or customer data.
Being a Microsoft product, SharePoint automatically commands a large space in the business software market, but that doesn’t make it suitable for every business. Indeed, the huge gaps in functionality and technology indicate that it’s lagging far behind independent intranet vendors like Claromentis.
Looking to switch from SharePoint? Download our intranet brochure for full details about what makes us the best SharePoint alternative.